Local eateries offer gourmet discounts

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February 2, 2007

1:21 AM

The Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association will feature 22 local eateries in its “Williamsburg Restaurant Week” in order to showcase restaurants that stand out from the abundance of steak and waffle houses. From Jan. 28 through Sunday, WARA invites diners to “enjoy Williamsburg’s finest dining at a fraction of the price.” For eight days, the 22 participating WARA restaurants will feature multi-course fixed-price lunch and dinner menus for guests to sample. Notable participants include The Trellis, the 415 Grill, Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Seasons Cafe.

p. As Richmond Road confidently displays, the area offers an infinite variety of eating places, 120 of which belong to the WARA. The association is a leading organization helping promote the area restaurant industry’s vast expansion and change. To aid in this growth, Restaurant Week aims to bring in customers to choose from each restaurant’s featured specialties. In celebratory fashion, each price is reminiscent of the New Year: three-course dinner menus range from $20.07 to $30.07 while two-course lunch menus are priced at $10.07.

p. “We just think it’s a wonderful opportunity for all residents of Williamsburg to enjoy our food and the food of other restaurants at a discounted price,” Trellis General Manager Robert Hall said. “We’ve advertised in local newspapers, and we hope to give people who don’t dine out often the change to enjoy our food.”

p. The Fat Canary, another popular white-table restaurant on Duke of Gloucester Street is not a member of the Williamsburg Area Restaurants Association, although owner Tom Power, Sr. said that, had they been members of the organization, they would certainly be participating in the program. A three-course dinner at the Fat Canary costs an average of $50-$60 per person.

p. “We chose not to be a part of the organization,” Power said. “It isn’t because we don’t like them, we just did not see that it was an advantage for our restaurant. It certainly is great for some restaurants.”

p. Participating restaurants have already noted the success of the promotion. Berret’s Dining Room Manager Melissa McKelvey said that a large percentage of patrons took advantage of the discounted entrees last Wednesday night. “We sold 30 of the specials after seating only 50 people,” she said.

p. Ending just before Valentine’s Day week, the promotion offers a way for restaurant-goers to scout out dining spots for February 14. This week of discounts also serves to make more upscale restaurants affordable to students and locals. In addition, the project will help participating restaurants prepare for Jamestown’s 400th anniversary and the influx of tourists it will bring to the Historic Triangle.

p. With millions of visitors — including Queen Elizabeth II — expected, the success of Restaurant Week will get WARA members ready for big business in May.

p. For more information on Restaurant Week or the Williamsburg Restaurant Association, including menus and prices of participating restaurants, visit WilliamsburgAreaRestaurants.com.

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